A general view is seen during the round one AFL NAB Cup match between the Geelong Cats and the Collingwood Magpies at Simonds Stadium on February 12, 2014 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Cats expect to play home finals at Kardinia Park from 2017

Geelong CEO Brian Cook says the Cats expect to play the majority of their home finals at Kardinia Park from 2017, following the completion of the redevelopment of Simonds Stadium.

Once construction of the current stand is complete in May 2016, the Cats’ home ground will have a capacity of 36,000.

Geelong’s plans for its final stage of redevelopment will then see the capacity increase to around 40,000.

Cook said that given the increased capacity, the AFL has no reason not to schedule finals at Simonds Stadium in 2017 and beyond, particularly given the fact the Giants 24,000 seat home ground with host the preliminary final against either Hawthorn or the Western Bulldogs in a fortnight.

“If it’s good enough for GWS at Spotless Stadium, it’s good enough for us down at Simonds Stadium,” Cook said on SEN Radio.

“This year is a bit different because we’ve got 52,000 members and our capacity is only 26,000 (due to construction). When you have to share the ground with the opposition in a final, you split the ground 50-50 and then whatever is left goes back to us.

“We just couldn’t cater for our membership this year if we played a final down our way.

“But in the years to come — and next year we have a capacity of 36,000 — we don’t think there’s any excuse not to have a final (at Simonds Stadium) if we deserve it and earn it.”

However, Cook admitted that when facing Victorian clubs with large fan bases, the Cats would still play an MCG home final.

“When we play Hawthorn or Collingwood, particularly those two teams, as our home game with a home advantage in a final, I think we’d still probably need to play in Melbourne,” Cook said.

“But that’s not an easy question to answer, because a lot of our members would say play it in Geelong, it gives us the best opportunity to make a grand final.”

Geelong’s home final against Hawthorn at the MCG on Friday night drew a crowd of over 87,000 fans.